View Full Version : Help with managing recoil for a mosin?

January 21, 2011, 01:18 AM
I will be the first to admit that I am a novice when it comes to shooting, let alone the more complex things about rifles and such.

I recently went down to a local range and tried out my new Mosin Nagant for the first time and I found the recoil to be pretty painful, I resorted to folding up a piece of carpet that was sitting by the bench to help buffer the shock to my shoulder.

I have the feeling that I simply was not holding the rifle correctly, and that may have contributed to my inability to withstand the recoil.

What I basically try to do is place the butt of the rifle into the groove of my shoulder and keep my arm tucked close to my body so i don't chicken wing my stance, all the while slightly pulling back on the stock so that it's firmly against my shoulder. the top of the butt sits just a little low below the top of my shoulder though not by much.

Might anyone have suggestions for a novice like myself when it comes to, well, making the recoil not be so painful? Steel butt plates don't seem to agree with me so far.

January 21, 2011, 01:49 AM
the mosin nagant is almost as punishing to the shooter as it is the person getting shot. hold it tight to your shoulder, lean into it, and don't shoot more than 5-10 round strings because you'll start flinching bad. take a .22lr with you and shoot it a bunch between strings with the mosin.

if you want you can get a lead sled and that would mitigate recoil but I think those things cost more than a mosin does. cabelas has shoulder pads that strap to your shoulder, I've never tried one but it can't hurt.

chris in va
January 21, 2011, 02:05 AM
I had an M38 and really didn't care for the recoil. Tried a Limbsaver pad, just made it worse.

My friend's full size 91/30 is better but a handful to hold up after a while. I just can't imagine using this thing all the time in battle. Those guys have my respect!

January 21, 2011, 02:08 AM
I use a Limbsaver on my .375 H&H magnum and it really helps reduce felt recoil

January 21, 2011, 02:09 AM
Thankyou for the suggestions, would any gun store sell these "limb savers"? Or is it as simple as going to a Walmart or something?

January 21, 2011, 02:10 AM
I'm waiting for someone to say a "Limbsavermakes it worse"

January 21, 2011, 02:11 AM
I think walmart has limbsaver pads. them or most online shooting suply websites like cheaperthandirt.com or sportsmansguide.com

January 21, 2011, 02:12 AM
Makes it worse? How so?

January 21, 2011, 02:13 AM
because you know, limbsavers were invented by Nazies

January 21, 2011, 02:16 AM
Not 100% sure if I should take that seriously, but if true, that's very interesting. You learn something new every day I suppose.

January 21, 2011, 02:17 AM
Limbsavers are not usually available at Wally.Check with your local gun shop or get one from Cabella's on line.They run around $20.

44 AMP
January 21, 2011, 02:18 AM
Shooting isn't about how you look when you are doing it, its about results. There are lots of folks who shoot with a high elbow, although its not what is currently in vogue. It does work. And it works better for some people than others. I do it myself, its how I learned as a child, and I have not found reason enough to change, when shooting offhand.

Find the "pocket" in your shoulder, so the butt is not on bone. Know that the Moisin is known to be a hard kicker. Understand that recoil, and what you feel have a relationship, but are not identical.

Recoil is a straight energy calculation, involving bullet energy and mass of the gun (in simple terms). FELT RECOIL is the way it feels to you, and is highly subjective. It involves not just the recoil energy, but less tangible things like how well the gunstock fits you, the size shape and composition of the butt, the shape of the stock in general (straight, or with a lot of drop, etc). A number of things, all highly personal go into what you feel.

The Moisin kicks because you are firing a round with plenty of power, from a rifle with a skinny stock that ill fits the average American shooter. So it feels as bad as it gets, basically.

There are a great many products sold to reduce the felt recoil, pads you can wear, pads the rifle wears, all the way up to something like the Lead Sled, which is a cradle for the rifle you add weight to while shooting from the bench.

Don't shoot the Moisin like you see soldiers shoot the M16/M4. Current training has them putting the butt very high on the shoulder. They can do this because of the very light recoil of the 5.56mm round, the elevated sight line of the rifles, and the fact that they are training wearing body armor. The Moisin, or any other moderately recoiling rifle will kick the snot out of you if you shoulder it that way!

January 21, 2011, 02:20 AM
It doesn't sound like you're holding it incorrectly. In my experience, stock Mosins just hurt if you shoot them too much, especially the lighter variants. I still love them. :)

Funny thing is, my teenage kids and their friends can shoot them all day and not seem to be bothered by them at all. I guess I'm just a wuss.

January 21, 2011, 02:22 AM
@ 44 AMP

Thankyou, that was extremely informative, and I will definitely be trying that in the future. Worse comes to worse, I'll keep a towel or something with me next time, since I don't want to spend money on something that may be correctable or managed with by shifting the way I hold my rifle.

January 21, 2011, 02:25 AM
I changed out the recoil pad on my older 7mm rem. mag with a Limb Saver, I was pleasently pleased with its function.

January 21, 2011, 02:47 AM
We could get into a deep discusion about recoil but in the end it is the men that do not whine about a bruised shoulders that tend to win wars.
For some reason you seem to have excluded yourself from that

January 21, 2011, 02:57 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure I'm understanding what you are trying to say Kenno, nor am I sure if what you are saying is even directed at me.

If so, I just want to be able to enjoy my rifle and be able to fire it more effectively, and if getting a shoulder pad allows me to do so, then so be it. I think that's what most of us are looking to do when we go out to the range.

I would like to thank you all again for your suggestions and comments. If anyone else has some other advice I'd more than welcome it :)

January 21, 2011, 04:56 AM
The steel butt plate makes for bruised shoulder for sure. I don't mind so much unless its at the end of the day and I've been shooting some of my larger rifles. I just use a slip over Limbsaver and it's fine, well, takes the bite out anyway. But after being pummled by big bores, even the limbsaver doesn't help.

If you start out shooting the Nagant with the pad, it shouldn't pound you that bad.

Moisin, or any other moderately recoiling rifle will kick the snot out of you if you shoulder it that way!

Probably disconnect your collar bone from your shoulder if it's in the right spot.

January 21, 2011, 05:25 AM
Buy a heavy Soviet winter uniform. It helped Ivan, it'll help you.

Besides pads, shooting lessons will help you handle recoil better.

There are a lot of tough guys with serious flinching problems because they were too vain to ask for help.

kenno is pulling your leg.

January 21, 2011, 08:12 AM
Consider getting a wrap on recoil pad like this Galco. It fits my Mausers, Enfields and Swiss mil-surps. Does a great job of reducing the felt recoil. I was starting to get a flinch after 20 rounds or so and I started using this and no more flinching.


Don P
January 21, 2011, 08:44 AM
Here is what I have put on my 2 Mosin's found on this site,
They are rubber pads that replace the steel butt plate.
Here is the link to the section for the Mosin-nagants

Maybe I'm crazy but I'll be shooting a Appleseed event the last Saturday of this month. Approximate 400 rounds give or take a few using my Mosin.

January 21, 2011, 09:50 AM
I have a mosin short barrel.
The $14 dollar rubber butt pad helps. I drilled out the holes so that it can absorb more of the kick. It also increased the length of pull.
The biggest help is not shooting my Mosin while seated on the bench. I only shoot it standing (of course there were the necessary shots for sighting in).
If you shoot on the bench, try not to lean forward too much - keep body more upright. You will get all the kick if you lean forward. With a more upright posture, your body will give some so felt recoil is not as painful.
May not be the best position but it less painful on the shoulder.

the rifleer
January 21, 2011, 10:23 AM
Just fold a towel in half and throw it over your shoulder. Its cheap and takes most of the bite out of it.

January 21, 2011, 10:24 AM
I just can't imagine using this thing all the time in battle. Those guys have my respect!

The adrenaline involved makes recoil an after thought when you are in battle.

January 21, 2011, 10:44 AM
The various Mosins do have a stout recoil, but I simply don't find them to be punishing. I do however find the M39 to be the most comfortable. The Finns did a much better job regarding stock design.

January 21, 2011, 10:53 AM
I don't find the Mosin recoil that objectionable, no more then any other military style rifle.

However it does get to some people. But not all. Why is that?

I think its positions, how you are shooting the rifle.

I've ran across the same problems with the 1903s, M1 & M14s, shooters having problems with the recoil.

When you are running a military rifle team, you can't change the rifle. I've had several women, who were light in frame and had difficulty with the recoil of the service rifle. It just takes time to work with their positions where the recoil is directed and controlled.

I would recommend if one wanted to shoot the Mosin (or any similar type military rifle) attend a CMP GSM Clinic. The instructor will work with you to the point that the recoil not only doesn't bother you, but you use it to help you in your rapid fire stages.

January 21, 2011, 11:05 AM
I think its affects different people ...well ...different...the mosin is not the worst i have.. my .303 hurts a little.

however i dont think that i have fired full power ammo in the mosin yet, I have only used Herters. My opinion might change once I get good ammo.

January 21, 2011, 06:22 PM
The Mosin isn't some magical beast that has an unbearable recoil...
You are shooting a cartridge that is inbetween the .308 Winchester and the 30-06 Springfield cartridge in power. That's all. :rolleyes:
However... if you shoot one of those cartridges in a relatively light rifle, like the M44's, etc, and put a clublike stock with a square-edged 2X4 shaped butt stock on it, you will "feel the pain" as ol Slick used to say. :eek:
Reshape the butt to a more oval shape, put a decent recoil pad on it, and you'll enjoy it quite a bit more. Or, if you are cheap, like me, find one of the "made for Mosin" aftermarket recoil pads that everyone is selling on Ebay for about 12 bucks and bolt it in place of your metal butt plate. I'm going to order one probably next week.
Has anyone put one of the aftermarket MonteCarlo style synthetic stocks on theirs? I would imagine the recoil is much more manageable with that.
Let's hear from you that have done that... enquiring minds, and all that...

January 21, 2011, 09:14 PM
Anything with a steel buttplate will give you a good zing with a medium to high powered cartridge. The old Mausers in 8mm, the old springfield in 30-06. Even the springfield trapdoor is a bit rough.

You can get a recoil pad made for your mosin for about $15 and it works quite well. I have one on an M44, and on a 91/30.

January 21, 2011, 10:30 PM
Shoot ammo with a lighter bullet weight. 148 grain light ball will have less felt recoil than 174 or 203 grain bullets.

January 22, 2011, 12:33 AM
I've got a wrap buttpad like that Galco on my M44 and shoot the light ball (147) and use the "chicken wing" hold. It gives a shove, but no pain. I was shooting one time with a friend that was Soviet trained. He laid down and shot sniper style with it. When I tried, it nearly tore my shoulder off with the stock planted on the top of my shoulder. I will never do that again. I also agree with bringing along a nice .22 rifle and alternate. When I go to the range with my Soviet friend, we go back and forth with the M44 and Marlin 60. It really teaches you to not flinch.

January 22, 2011, 12:35 AM
A Pachmayr slip on recoil pad tames the kick pretty good on my M44 and M38.

January 22, 2011, 12:47 AM
You could try one of these. It is the only way I will bench a .375 H&H. It's really quite remarkable how well it works. You just have to adjust for the different length of pull.

January 22, 2011, 01:02 AM
That's what I've got on mine, a Pachmayr. It doesn't have the name carved in the leather like the Galco. Real nice fit and I think it'll last forever, too.